Paying it forward: Green Bay Glory players hope to inspire the next generation of athletes

Green Bay Area Regional News

Ann Maki says she was inspired by World Cup athletes as a child.

“You have these, like the big goals and these role models,” she said. “You know, ‘One day, I want to be like them,’ and then you find your own way.”

Maki found her own way as a soccer player, now as a Center Mid-Fielder for the Green Bay Glory

She now pays it forward, inspiring the next generation of athletes as a part of her team.

“I’ve done a lot of coaching too,” Maki said, “and so to now [it’s nice to] be able to show them like, ‘Hey, you can do this too.'”

Brianna Buntin was once coached by Maki.

“It’s just my favorite sport and I would chose it over anything else,” Buntin said of soccer.

She’s taken the initiative to get involved with the Green Bay Glory’s first season, even serving as the team’s Ball Girl.

“I got to be right underneath the scoreboard, in between both of the teams,” Buntin remembered.

She’s set her sights on being an even bigger part of the team in the future.

“This is exactly what I want to do when I’m older,” Buntin said. “I can accomplish what they’ve accomplished, and I’m going to work towards my goals to make that happen.”

Maki says the team hopes to continue inspiring young athletes.

“It shows them that there’s something out there for them,” she said, “and gives them this path that they can have the goal to one day be on the Glory team.”

For now, Buntin is happy to watch Maki and the rest of the team live out their dreams.

“It makes me so happy when I see them following their passion of playing soccer and just seeing them underneath the lights playing their favorite sport,” she said.

She’s getting ready for her chance to be a part of the Glory.

“[It] just makes me want to do the exact same thing,” she said.

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